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3/1, 123d KILL 22 NVA GET ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS from the Southern Cross for May 11, 1969

Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines

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LZ BRONCO — Fierce fighting erupted again recently in 515 Valley as the 11th Inf. Bde.'s 3d Bn., 1st Inf. joined "Aero Scouts" of the 123d Avn. Bn. to kill 22 NVA and capture two Russian-made 12.7mm anti-aircraft machineguns and an SKS rifle.

Action began as B Co., 123d, received heavy fire while on a recon mission over the valley seven miles west of here.

Gunships immediately engaged the position and later returned to the scene to support C and D Cos., 3/1. Gunships were credited with seven NVA kills.

D Co. was nearest the action, deployed overland into contact, and killed nine NVA, detained a suspect, and took the SKS. C Co. was airlifted to the scene.


"Our first mission was to check a light observation helicopter and its occupants who had been shot down," said CPT Boots C Blanks (Macon, Ga.), the CO.

"We knew NVA were in the area but not where they were. As we moved south, they opened up with heavy automatic weapons fire and pinned us for a few minutes.

"Our first and second platoons fired and maneuvered on the enemy positions as the gunships returned and worked to our front. When the last ship had expended, we were on line and assaulted."

C Co.'s assault killed six NVA and led to capture of the two anti-aircraft guns.

Big Help

Second platoon leader SFC Bertalan J. Toth (Daly City, Calif.) credited the success and his unit's light casualties to PFCs Wesley G. Ice (Bridgeport, W. Va.); James H. Chapple (Flint, Mich.); and Ronald L. Wolf (Canoga Park, Calif.).

"They laid down excellent M-72, M-79, and machinegun covering fire and enabled the platoon to move on well-camouflaged and well-fortified positions," said SFC Toth.

When C Co. overran the positions, one machinegun was in place and the other dismounted and hidden in a hedgegrow where it was found by SP4 Harold F. Johnson (Livingston, S.C.), a squad leader.

(11th IO)

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An original copy of this document was donated to the Americal Division Veterans Association (ADVA) by LTC Paul Parham who served as Information Officer for the Americal Division.

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